The best belly dance costume tutorials for the DIY types
I love making belly dance costumes and costume accessories and I’ve been doing it (well, at least experimenting with it) since I first started belly dancing. I learned how to sew at a young age and I took sewing classes in middle and high school. It was only natural that I would extend this passion for sewing into the belly dance realm. But it hasn’t always been a pretty process. I have made A LOT of missteps along the way, but I learned as I went through books, belly dance communities, like bhuz.com, as well as social networking sites like Tribe.net, Facebook and Live Journal. Now, there are more resources than ever out there for dancers who want to make their own belly dance costumes.
I am grateful to those dancers who have shared their work openly and freely! And now I hope to share a little bit of this knowledge with you. I’ve collected the best belly dance costume tutorials on the web, as well as some other useful links to get you inspired and sewing in no time.
Top 5 belly dance costume tutorial websites
|This is the mother ship of costuming tutorials, IMO. If you haven’t bookmarked this yet, you need to. Shushanna provides excellent tutorials on everything from construction to beading. I am always amazed that she does this for free, but you can leave a donation if you feel you received value from her work.|
|Naima has some great beading tutorials as well as some unique and interesting tutorials like Getting Rid of Belt Butt-Gap and Adding Battery Powered LED Lights to Your Costume.|
|This section is a bit of a mixed bag and some of the tutorials seem very dated now. However, it’s a great place to dig around, especially the Costuming Goddess (Dina Lydia) pieces, and kudos to Shira for being one of the first sites on the web to offer such valuable information.|
|I bought Davina’s book, Embellished Bras, way back in the day and it was a great book to get me started. Now, my technique is slightly different from hers, but the basics are still the same. Davina has been writing costuming how-to books for quite some time and now she’s sharing some of this information on her blog.|
|This is a new website from Mao that has some great free resources as well as paid costuming courses.|
TUTORIAL: Creating a Costume Bra – This is a Flickr album from Misha that is more focused on a tribal-style embellished bras. It has received an incredible 20,000 views!
Make a Bra – This isn’t belly dance specific, but it is a great resource for bra making that may be helpful in costume construction and design.
How to make a belly dance bra on the Belly Dance Blog – This is a tribal style bra tutorial from Alexandra Graham
Pharonix Bra Retro fit tutorial from Magz Ragz Couture
Making a belly dance bra (4-part playlist on Youtube) from Yasaman
How to cover a bra from Curvy Hips
Skirts and belts
Making a tribal belly dance belt (3-part playlist on YouTube) from Yasaman
Fitting a belt at Belly Dance Plus
Belly dancer life hacks from Ananke
How to make Egyptian fringe from Najla
Making a fishnet body stocking at Belly Dance Stuff
How to make a floral headpiece from Sahina
Tempest’s patterns from Owlkeyme
Lycra Baladi dress pattern from Beatrice Curtis
Lots of costume tutorials from Kyria’s Closet
Nadya’s Sewing Instructions from Nadya
Belly Dance at Any Size tutorials
How to make a belly cover by Andalee
How to custom fit a hip scarf by Melissa
How to add more coverage to your belly dance bra – Part 1 by guest blogger Mao
How to add more coverage to your belly dance bra – Part 2 by guest blogger Mao
Facebook pages to follow
Sparkly Belly (group)
Not tutorials, but costume creation/refurbishment documentation
Dark Green Bella Restoration from Sahina
This is what I have found and bookmarked (or pinned ;)) so far, but I know I am missing some. So what are your favorite costume tutorials? Please share with us in the comments and if they are really helpful, then I will update this article to add them.
(This page was updated on March 6, 2017)